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Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > The North Face Nuptse Jacket > Owner Review by Jennifer Estrella

The North Face Nuptse Down Women's Jacket

Owner Review by Jennifer Estrella

January 12, 2009

Personal Information

Name:  Jennifer Estrella
Age:  34
Gender:  Female
Height:  5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 140 lb (64 kg)
Email address: jennksnowy at yahoo dot com
City, State, and Country: 
Orange County, California, United States

Backpacking Background

After getting into the outdoors scene camping while 4-wheeling and day-hiking, I switched to backpacking in the early 2000's. I have backpacked extensively in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho along with California, Pennsylvania and Nevada. I have slowly been cutting my base weight to be able to go longer in duration and distance. I have done so mainly by using better gear and dumping heavy luxuries. (I also married a Sherpa to help.) I backpack year round in all weather, and usually take a free standing tent and a gas stove on all my trips. I love trying out new gear.

Product Information

Manufacturer: The North Face
Web Site:
Product: Nuptse Women's Down Jacket
Year Manufactured: Fall 2005 (currently manufactured in different colors)
MSRP: $249.00 USD other editions are listed on the website for $199.00 USD
Color Reviewed: Special Edition Port Blue
Available Women's Colors: Jewel Blue/Plume Blue, Igneous Purple, Black, Snow White, Brownie, Gypsy Pink, Aires Blue, and Dalberg Yellow
Size: Medium (Women's)
Sizes Available: Women's XS(2), S(4-6) M(8-10), L(12-14), and XL(16-18) (also available in a men's model)

Materials: 700 fill goose down; Z-ripstop nylon fabric with a down proof nylon taffeta lining; double-layer taffeta on shoulders to resist abrasion from a pack or general wear

Weight Listed: None indicated on website
Actual Weight : 22.50 oz (636 g)

Warranty: Lifetime warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.


Product Description

The Nuptse is a classic puffy down jacket with high loft that is manufactured by The North Face. It is designed to be worn in cold weather. This jacket is highly compressible and is designed with superior warmth-to-weight ratio for cold conditions.

This special edition Nuptse has floral embellishments on the right front shoulder and the left sleeve. The colors of the floral pattern are dark/light blue, beige, and tan. The floral pattern is stitched to the nylon outer material with blue, beige, and tan threads. The North Face logo is embroidered in dark blue threads on the left front shoulder and the rear right shoulder of the jacket. The right sleeve has "700" embroidered in dark blue thread near the cuff of the jacket. This is to signify the down content of the jacket.


While the Nuptse is a still-available product my version is a special edition model that added a textured-look fabric and floral embellishments on shoulder and sleeve for a unique look. Otherwise it is the same.

The Nuptse is insulated by 700 fill goose down. The exterior shell is constructed of a Z-ripstop nylon fabric with a small dotted vertical stripe pattern in the colors related to the floral pattern (dark/light blue, beige, and tan). The shoulder area of the Nuptse has a double-layer of taffeta to resist abrasion from pack straps or from normal wear and tear. The length from the center back is approximately 26 in (66 cm). The jacket has a sewn-through type of construction (the stitches are through the inside of the jacket) to keep the down in the chambers.

The interior of the Nuptse has a soft micro-fiber lined collar. A hang tab is located at the base of the collar seam. An interior zippered 7 in (18 cm) stow pocket with a single zipper pull tab (with the word "STOW" stitched on the pull tab), can be used to store the jacket or to carry items inside the pocket. The stow pocket has a black patch with The North Face logo in white that can be seen when the pocket is turned to stuff the jacket inside. The interior lining is gray in color and is a down proof nylon taffeta lining. There is an interior hem cinch cord and the base of the jacket to provide a more snug fit and to prevent drafts from entering the jacket.

The Nuptse has a zip front with a zipper pull with The North Face logo printed on it. This jacket is zip-in compatible with another jacket such as a shell. There are two 7 in (18 cm) hand side pockets with zipper pulls with The North Face logo at the lower portion of each zipper pull. These side pockets are lined with micro-fiber fabric that is soft to the touch and the zipper openings are on the side seams of the jacket.

The cuffs of the Nuptse have hook and loop closures that allow the cuffs to be adjusted for the desired fit. The cuffs also have some elastic in the inside to provide a snug fit. Near the cuffs there are plastic snaps on a strip of webbing attached on each sleeve to enable the jacket to be attached inside a shell.

The Nuptse has washing instructions on a tag inside the jacket. The tag states not to dry clean and to secure all "Velcro" closures. The jacket is to be hand washed or machine washed separately on a delicate cycle in warm water and it is indicated to rinse well. Mild detergent should be used. The directions state not to bleach and to tumble dry at low heat.

Getting some sun

Product Use

I received the Nuptse in late October in 2007 as a gift, and I have worn it around town in Salt Lake City, at the local ski resorts for Après-ski, belaying, backpacking, snowshoeing, and hiking in cold weather. I primarily wore it at base camp or for stationary activities.

Locations I have worn the Nuptse (I may have forgotten a few)

Salt Lake City, Utah: I wore the Nuptse at elevations ranging from 4,500 ft (1,372 m) to 7,760 ft (2,365 m). The jacket was worn in this location during Après-ski at the local ski resorts, short evening snowshoe hikes, and around town. The temperatures ranged from the single digits to around 30 F (-1 C).

Red Rocks, Nevada: I wore the jacket while belaying my climbing partner and while hanging out at the crag. I also wore it in the evenings and in the morning at camp. At the locations where we were climbing that there was no sun and it was about 41 F (5 C) with a light wind. My harness for belaying purposes did not get in the way of the jacket. I did not even attempt to wear the jacket while climbing (I generally wear something more fitted, tolerable to abrasion, and not as bulky). The low at night was around 30 F (-1 C).

Canyonlands National Park, Utah: This was a three day trip with the elevation averaging around 3,900 ft (1,189 m) at both camp locations. The daytime temperatures were between 55 F (13 C) to 60 F (16 C). The nighttime lows reached 27 F (-3 C). The weather was sunny and clear skies. I wore the jacket with a mid-weight base layer in the evening and morning hours at base camp.

San Jacinto State Park, California: This was a two day solo trip. Camp was set up at approximately 9,000 ft (2,743 m). The high temperature for both days was around 58 F (14 C) and the low was recorded at 39 F (4 C). This was a 6.5 mi (10 km) trip. It was short because of the difficulty finding the trail. I wore the jacket with light layers during the evening and morning hours.

San Bernardino National Forest, California: This was a two day backpacking trip. Camp was located at Limber Pine Bench at 9,300 ft (2,835 m). The temperatures ranged from 67 F (19 C) to 40 F (4 C) with enough wind to keep the mosquitoes away. The trip had an elevation gain of 3,680 ft (1,122 m) in 6 mi (7 km) for a total of 12 mi (19 km) for the trip. I wore the jacket with a light layer underneath during the early evening hours for warmth at base camp.

Denver, Colorado: The temperatures ranged from 23 to 36 F (-5 to 2 C) and I wore the jacket during two days for walks around town. The elevation was just under 5,280 ft (1,609 m).

Mount San Jacinto State Park, California: This was a 6 mi (10 km) two day snowshoe/backpacking trip. We camped at an elevation of 9,100 ft (2,775 m) on 5 ft (1.5 m) of snow pack. The temps ran from 40 to 22 F (4 to -6 C). The jacket was worn in the evening and during the morning hours. At some points during this trip I layered the Nuptse under a rain shell.

Impressions and Performance

The Nuptse has seen quite a bit of use since I received it as a gift. I get so many compliments on the stylish design of the jacket. I think these comments are mostly because the jacket is so unique with the floral embellishments and the striped pattern. I have worn it with light to mid-weight layers underneath and layered under a shell. None of my shells support the plastic snaps on the sleeves of the Nuptse. I found it odd that the snaps are plastic (seems like cheap construction or maybe to save weight). The jacket is not waterproof, but the nylon exterior fabric does resist some light precipitation. It will wet out if exposed to steady, moderate, or heavy precipitation. That is the reason why I bring along a waterproof shell.

This jacket has kept me warm in temperatures down to the single digits. I have worn the jacket for both stationary activities and while hiking/snowshoeing in cold temperatures. During more moderate activities I begin to get very warm after about 20 minutes and I have to remove the jacket in order to be comfortable. This jacket is so comfortable and I just love to be bundled up in it. The jacket is kind of on the short side and when I sit down it rides up a bit.

I have started to take the Nuptse on most of my backpacking trips that I know I will encounter temperatures around the freezing mark. Even if I do not wear it I have a level of security knowing that it is inside my pack. Plus it makes for a nice soft pillow when stuffed inside a silk pillow case or a stuff sack. I have also used it as an insulating layer for my feet when using a shorter sleeping pad.

The Nuptse compresses into the interior stow pocket with some work. During my first attempt to stuff it in the pocket I thought it was quite the workout, I had one heck of a time. It has become easier to stuff inside the pocket with time. I think I have some sort of method to stuffing it more quickly and with a little bit less effort. Don't get me wrong it does still take some effort to get it all stuffed into the pocket. The stow pocket only has a zipper pull on one side of the zipper. And that zipper pull ends up on the inside of the pocket when it is stuffed. It would be nice to have a zipper pull on the zippered side that is used to close the stow pocket when the jacket is stuffed inside. It packs down to about 11 x 8 in (28 x 21 cm) in the stow pocket. When the jacket is removed from the stow pocket it regains its loft quickly and it looks pretty much the same as before I stuffed it. Sometimes the stow pocket zipper gets stuck on the hang loop that is inside the pocket. I sometimes store items inside the stow pocket that I want to keep close to my body to keep warm.

The Nuptse is a very comfortable, puffy jacket. The jacket has chambers that are sewn-through the jacket. This helps keep the down in place and does not allow it to end up at the bottom of the jacket. In a nutshell the down is very well and evenly distributed from what I can tell. The jacket has a bottom draw cord that is accessed inside the jacket. The jacket can be cinched tighter at the bottom to help prevent drafts from entering in the jacket. There is no cord stop on the draw cord and that would be helpful to keep it cinched to the desired amount.

The micro-fiber lined collar feels very comfortable around my neck. When the Nuptse is fully zipped up the collar rests at my chin.

I like the micro-fiber lined side pockets. The lining is soft to the touch and adds some extra warmth to bare hands. The side pockets have a nice sized opening and are located at a comfortable level when not wearing a pack. They are in the way sometimes with a larger hip belt. But, I do not really wear the jacket much with a pack.

The main zipper of the jacket sometimes gets stuck from the interior lining getting in the way of the zipper track. There is a 1.5 in (4 cm) interior flap to help keep cold air from penetrating through the zipper. I have not encountered issues with the side pocket zippers getting stuck, just the main zipper and the stow pocket. The stow pocket gets stuck more frequently than the main zipper.

The cuffs of the jacket easily adjust with a hook and loop type of closure to fit over or under gloves/mittens. They are easily and quickly adjustable with the pull of the tab. The sleeves do not ride up when the sleeve closures are tightened. Actually it is difficult to have the sleeve ride up at all because there is elastic at the sleeve opening.

The Nuptse still looks like new. All the threads are intact and there is no wear to the jacket that I can see. I have laundered it in down soap and dried it in a home dryer and it is still very puffy.

In my tent


Things That Rock

  • Very stylish
  • Warm and comfortable
  • Compresses well and loft returns
  • Very puffy

Things That Are So-So

  • Exterior shell is not waterproof
  • The jacket is a short style it could be slightly longer
  • Sometimes the zippers get stuck
  • Needs an additional zipper pull on the stow pocket


I love my Nuptse jacket and I will continue to wear it in cold temperatures while hiking and backpacking. I will also wear it around town when I visit cold cities. This jacket is very comfortable, soft, and puffy. I have no complaints about it keeping me warm. I would like to see the main zipper improved so it does not get stuck on the inner lining and I would like to see an additional zipper pull on the stow pocket. The jacket compresses well and has an excellent loft return. This is one of my favorite presents (Thank you!).


Read more gear reviews by Jennifer Koles

Reviews > Clothing > Jackets and Vests > The North Face Nuptse Jacket > Owner Review by Jennifer Estrella

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